Gift Guide for Runners & Brooks Giveaway

Even though I am not running as often as normal right now, due to my pregnancy, I’ve had an entire year to try new running products. Even though I have the opportunity to try many new products each year through this blog, I find that many of my favorite items have been favorites for years. In fact, when looking at my past Running Gift Guides (2012, 2013, 2014), I realized that I still use many of these items on a weekly basis!

running-gift-guide

<GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED NOW>

Now, as a special holiday gift for readers, my friends at Brooks  are giving one lucky reader a stocking stuffer gift pack including three of their Winter running essentials:

Brooks Stocking Stuffer Giveaway

  • Joyride Headband
  • Drift Running Gloves
  • Dash Arm Warmers

To enter, leave a comment letting me know your favorite Christmas movie! I will choose a winner on Monday at 10pm so that the winner can hopefully receive their gift before the holidays. < GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED>

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Finding Your Perfect Sports Bra and a Giveaway

ashley-in-sports-bra

Happy Thursday guys! As some of you may have seen earlier this week on either my Instagram Stories or the Brooks Running Instagram, I had the opportunity to spend time shopping for sports bras with Brooks and Jack Rabbit. If you are a long-time reader, you may remember that I am small chested (36A).  For years, I didn’t think much about sports bras because I didn’t think that someone who was small chested needed support.  I did not enjoy wearing sports bras as I felt they made my small chest even smaller and flatter. Maybe that’s because for the first four years I worked out, from the age of 22-26, I wore a very basic sports bra that was $14.99 at Target.  It provided no support or padding, instead it was more like an ace bandage wrapped around my chest. No wonder I hated putting that thing on.
brooks

Luckily since my favorite brand, Brooks, makes wonderful sports bras, they offered to provide me with a bra fitting session in partnership with Jack Rabbit.  During my session with Leslie at Jack Rabbit, I learned so many tips that I asked my friends at Brooks if I could share the images and tips with you guys to ensure you pick the right sports bra for you, regardless your chest size.

moving-comfort-brooks

  • Women of all size can benefit from a quality, well-fitted sports bra – not just those with larger chests.
  • Women with small chests need to have a bra with support to avoid sagging and permanent damage to breast tissue later in life.
  • Get measured every year because even small changes can make big differences, especially for people with smaller chests.
  • The fit of the bottom band is the most important part of the bra as this is what provides most of the support. You want it to be tight enough to provide support but tight enough so that your girls won’t come out if you raise your arms.
  • Breast tissue moves in a figure eight pattern when you run, walk or jump. Wearing a sports bra with cups, known formally as an encapsulation bra, will support you better and help you avoid that unfortunate uniboob feeling.
  • If the bra is folding, wrinkling or has too much space in the cup that means you need to go down a cup size.
  • Your sports bra size may be different from the bra size you wear each day. Try on lots of different sizes and styles, often in one size smaller and larger than your daily bra, before choosing a sports bra.
  • A bra with adjustable straps can help ensure a perfect fit and that the bra can provide enough support regardless the exercise.
  • In the Fall of 2015, Brooks began re-branding their Moving Comfort division to Brooks. Therefore, if you have a favorite Moving Comfort bra that you’re looking for, it can be found on the Brooks site and may now have a Brooks logo on it!

brooks-sports-bra-with-adjustable-straps

During my session, I fell in love with three bras.

Fiona Sports Bra 

I have never worn a sports bra with a hook and eye closure but man did I fall in love with the level of flexibility and comfort this provided. In addition, this bra comes with molded cups so I felt supported and shapely versus flat as a pancake. The adjustable straps, which I am modeling in the above picture, also allow me to adjust the bra depending on the activity. For high intensity or running I would tighten it to limit the movement but for yoga or pilates, I can wear it a bit looser. If you are nursing, the adjustable straps can also make this a great bra option for easy access. The molded cups on this bra made me actually feel as if I had shape versus being flat as a pancake. I loved this bra so much that I bought two of them, one in black and one in blue!

brooks-fiona

Frontrunner Racer Bra

How fun and unique is the design of this bra with the plunging v-neck and seamless style? This lightweight, breathable bra is a great option as it provides support and contoured cups without sacrificing style. Even though I tried this bra on again at Jack Rabbit, I have owned this bra for three months and have worn it to many a workouts and run. It is comfortable and a great, chafe-free option!

brooks-front-runner-racer-bra

Uprise Crossback Sports Bra

This bra is the only one that I tried on which was designed specifically for A/B cups. Even though it has S/M/L sizing it still has contoured cups which provide support as well as a nice, curvy shape while the cross back allows for ventilation during your workout.  As you can see from the picture at the top of this post, I love this bra so much that I wore it throughout our Canada hiking trip, even stripping down to just the bra on an especially hot day.  The only thing that could make this bra even better would be adjustable straps.

brooks-uprise-bra

GIVEAWAY CLOSED – Winner @momsgottarun entry #47

 

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Mast Brothers Brooklyn Chocolate Tour

There are few things more fun then spending an evening learning and tasting chocolate with friends after a long day at work.

mast brothers maple

Almost a year ago, I discovered the brand while perusing the chocolate section at our local grocery store and since then have visited their Williamsburg location two times. Previously our small chocolate stash was primarily Swiss chocolate, heavily influenced from our time living there, but over the past few months more and more Mast Brothers chocolate has found its way into our house.  Therefore, when Gilt City invited Heather, Diana, Alanna, Christine and I for private tour at Mast Brothers Chocolate factory and show room in Brooklyn, I was elated!

Mast brothers bloggers

mast brothers behind the scenes

This behind-the-scenes tour which took place at their original, Williamsburg location provided us with a better understanding of not only how they make their chocolate but also how it is different than other chocolate brands.  During the tour we learned a great deal ranging from the details behind the process to the history of the brand.

mast brothers

  • The company was started by two brothers, Rick and Michael, one a chef and the other a business man.
  • They sold their first bars (17 to be exact) on their first day at Brooklyn based Artists & Flea
  • They now have three locations: Williamsburg, LA and London.
  • They pride themselves on including no more than 6 ingredients in any bar.
  • Cacoa nibs are made of half cocoa solids and half cocoa butter.
  • The nib portion boast many health benefits due to the fact that each serving contains flavanoids, antioxidants, 9 grams of fiber, magnesium, and potassium!
  • They have a base line of popular chocolate flavors but also introduce seasonal collections each year.
  • They do their best to source the ingredients for the chocolate from local or small farms and business partners such as Stumptown Coffee for the coffee that goes in their coffee bar.
  • Their recent collection is an herb collection, of which lavender is their most popular!
  • My personal favorite flavors are sea salt, goat milk, and lavendar in the perfectly portioned small 1.0 oz size bars.

If you want to enjoy your own tour of the factory, check out the great deal Gilt City is offering through tomorrow which includes a $20 credit to spend on chocolate! It saves you more than 50% and would make a great date night or weekend activity with friends or out-of-town guests!

Interested to try Gilt City? One lucky reader will win a $50 Gilt gift card! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Gilt City covered the cost of this tour but we were not compensated and all opinions, as always, are my own. 

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